Genesis Butler (sic), a 12-year-old US animal rights activist, and the Million Dollar Vegan campaign have challenged Pope Francis to go vegan for Lent 2019. This gesture – consonant with Francis’s aim to make the Catholic Church the custodian of the planet’s future – will be rewarded with 1m dollars to the charity of the Pope’s choice.

With the books of the Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù still to be balanced (even after ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s generous subvention) it was a no brainer. Francis will go vegan. Only the details needed to be settled.

The Million Dollar Vegan campaign is insistent, however, that there should be independent verification, and the suggestion that Archbishop Vigano should come out of hiding to fulfil the task was not immediately acceptable to the Cardinal Secretary of State. Eventually, however, it was agreed that Vigano, disguised a a Swiss Guard, would be given temporary accommodation in an apartment in the City until Holy Saturday.

The Holy See has let it be known that it is open to other sponsorships of a similar kind. A deal with Macdonadl’s is already being negotiated for the whole of Eastertide

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